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New Life Academy players celebrate during the Class 1A state championship. David Joles, Star Tribune

'One more title’

Cherry/Cotton starting pitcher Sara Sauter (9) is hugged by a coach after being taken out as pitcher during the 7th inning of their 8-2 loss to New Life Academy. David Joles, Star Tribune

Nothing about New Life Academy’s 8-2 victory over Cherry/Cotton in the Class 1A championship game was particularly noteworthy alone. But it is the fourth consecutive title for the Eagles. No other team has accomplished that in the 34-year history of the tournament.

“We kind of joked about the four-peat but in all honesty we take this pretty seriously,” coach Mick Ramey said.

Earlier this week, New Life Academy (24-4) set up a scrimmage with Hastings to get ready for the state tournament. It was one of the final steps of a season that has been all about the team’s motto: just one more.

“It could be one more anything,” Ramey said. “One more strike, one more hit, one more catch. And we finished with one more title.”

Katie Stodolka went 3-for-3 with three RBI.

Following the game's final out, New Life Academy players celebrate their 8-2 win over Cherry/Cotton. David Joles, Star Tribune

Game Recap

The final game of the 2011 state softball tournament was perhaps the most memorable.

New LIfe Academy's 8-2 victory over Cherry/Cotton in the Class 1A championship wasn't anyting spectacular in itself. But the win is the Eagles fourth straight title, the first team to accomplish that feat in the 34-year history of the tournament.

A close game early was broken open in the bottom of the fourth inning. Katie Stodolka ripped a two-out, two-run double to left as part of the three-run inning. Pitcher Rebekah Schmidt took over from there. She shut down the tigers the rest of the way as part of her four-hit, 10-strikeout afternoon.

Schmidt was also big at the plate, drawing three walks.

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